The family of a mother-of-two stabbed to death by a drug-crazed teenager in south London said today they fear the public could be put at risk after her killer was freed.
Because, you see, he’s all better now…
Ezekiel Maxwell, who attacked Carmelita Tulloch near her home in Kennington in 2006, was deemed fit for release by a tribunal after five years in a secure hospital.
And if he stops taking his medication, we all know where that leads, don’t we?
The paranoid schizophrenic, now 24, was obsessed with violent computer game Grand Theft Auto and had not taken his medication for two weeks when he repeatedly stabbed Mrs Tulloch.
The parents wanted to attend the hearing. The MinJust agree that that should be their right:
The Ministry of Justice said: “Victims have the right to information about a restricted patient’s discharge. They also have the right to make representations to the tribunal.”
But, in practice, it never really works out that way, does it?
Her father David Girdler, 73, said: “They wouldn’t allow us to attend the tribunal, they told us we could apply but that was turned down.”
So…is the MinJust now going to come down like the wrath of god on the tribunal? Or just shrug and chalk it up to ‘one of those things’?
Mr and Mrs Girdler have been told that Maxwell is returning to the Croydon area and is not allowed to go near their home in Kennington.
He’s ‘not allowed to savagely knife anyone to death’ either. Look how well that turned out!
Mr Girdler said: “They are going to monitor him but they said that before. He didn’t take his medication for two weeks and five days later he killed our daughter.“What we don’t understand is how do you judge what he will be like unless you take him off medication and see how he reacts. We have been asking about that but didn’t get any replies.
“Our reaction when he heard was anger because of the lack of communication. Our concern is some other poor soul having to go through what we are.”
Well, if that ‘poor soul’ happened to be a mental health tribunal judge, it wouldn’t be so bad, perhaps.
But they – and their enablers – are no doubt too busy worrying about how being in a secure facility might be making them worse, not better:
Professor Sir Robin Murray, chair of the commission, said: “We have spent the last year listening to expert professionals and more importantly, the experiences of people who have schizophrenia and psychosis and their families.
“The message that comes through loud and clear is that people are being badly let down by the system in every area of their lives.
“People with psychosis need to be given the hope that it is perfectly possible to live a fulfilling life after diagnosis. We have no doubt that this is achievable.”
I get the feeling that families like the Girdlers are seen as an unfortunate sacrifice to be made on the altar of ‘never making people with psychosis feel bad about themselves’, don’t you?
And it’s always, always a sacrifice made by people like the Girdlers – never people like Professor Sir Robin Murray. Or this chap:
Paul Jenkins, chief executive officer of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, added: “It’s been over 100 years since the term schizophrenia was first coined, but care and treatmentare still nowhere near good enough.”It is a scandal that in 2012 people with schizophrenia are dying 15-20 years earlier than the general population and that only 7% are able to get a job.
We wouldn’t accept this state of affairs for cancer, why should people with schizophrenia have to endure it? “
Because cancer hardly ever causes people to be a danger to those around them. Next stupid question?
Andrew McCulloch, chief executive at the Mental Health Foundation, said: “GPs and other health professionals must do more to offer routine health assessmentsto people with severe mental health problems and address identified needs.”Some people with severe mental health problems experience a chaotic lifestyle, self-neglect, poor diet and high levels of smoking, all of which significantly increase risk of physical health problems, including cardiovascular disease.
“However, this level of mortality cannot be simply attributed to lifestyle – this could be seen as victim blaming. Social inequality clearly plays a major role.”
I think there really are more out than in…